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tv   ABC7 News Inside Bay Area Weather  ABC  January 4, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm PST

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weather to me is something that affects so many aspects of everyone's daily routine. weather is everything. weather is life. without weather, we wouldn't have life. weather to me is a passion. >> it's always changing. there's always something to talk about. which is what i love about the bay area weather. >> people can't really depend on the usual. >> it's unpredictable. >> much like life is, i think. microclimate, severe weather, changing patterns and unseasonable storms. go behind the scenes with abc 7's experienced weather team and learn more about what makes the bay area's weather so unique. abc 7 news presents "inside bay area weather."
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sandhya patel, abc 7 news meteorologist. >> really, the bay area has many microclimates and it's always a challenge to nail it down. in summer, you can have a 40-degree spread between the coast and inland valleys. fog comes in along the coastline. pacifica may be socked in and only 56 degrees but you get inland into the livermore valley and livermore's 102. i mean, we're really talking about a wide range of conditions and every day, to nail it down to the exact temperature that you're forecasting for that specific city is always challenging. >> mike nicco, abc 7 news meteorologist. >> our microclimates are changing. our weather's upside down at times. our warmest months are during the coldest time of the year. it has to do with really the microclimate. >> spencer christian, abc 7 news
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weather. >> a typical winter extreme would be several consecutive days of heavy rain that would produce flooding, mudsliding, road closures. power outages. >> over 1,200 lightning strikes showing up. and over the last two decades that i've covered weather, i don't remember the lightning storms being that intense. >> jan null, golden gate weather services. >> back in december of 1995, was probably the strongest storm. it was a 10 on the bay area storm index. it's the strongest one that's been recorded in 63 years now. and with that storm, we saw wind gusts on angel island at 93
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miles an hour. we saw wind gusts, some of the peaks around the bay area, over 100 miles an hour. they've blown down trees. they've blown down power lines. flooding. all sorts of those impacts. >> lisa oranargen, abc 7 news meteorologist. >> makes me think, are we seeing these stronger storms, these wetter storms, is that the new normal? >> i think we're having a new normal, i absolutely do. it's not as hot here in the summer as it usually is. it's not as cold in the winter months as it has been in the past. so i definitely think we're see a new normal. every ten years, we'll go back and take the data and make new normals, if you will, or averages, and they've been tr d trending for the bay area. i think that's the new normal. >> they've provided proof, pictures of the glaciers , char
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melting, charts of the temperatures rising, not just in one location but around the country. i think certainly global warming is a huge threat to the bay area. if it continues at its current pace, we could be seeing some major climate changes. already we're see changes around the country and around the world. >> i have to say, one of the best tools that we have here at >> leigh glaser, abc 7 news meteorologist. >> when i'm out in the field reporting on weather, it is spot on. it is spot on. and it is so reliable. it's accurate. live doppler 7 has really got your back. live doppler 7 hd is on mt. st. helena. it is farther west than any other bay area radar. >> well, the radar, it's location, location, location, it really is, like real estate. having ours in the north and
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farther to the west is going to help us see those storms coming in from the northwest or coming in from the west, so we'll be able to see them coming quicker. >> logan johnson, national weather service. >> our radar's located near san jose so it don't cover portions of the north bay. so we use your radar. that is a key piece of the puzzle for us to understand what's going on. >> what doppler radar does is generally detects motion, the movement of systems that produce precipitation and the intensity of the precipitation, the direction, the speed at which they're moving. all these things are the basic things that doppler radar does. >> being able to go down to street level, to show people what's happening right in your neighborhood or what is coming to your neighborhood. you can still go street level and say this is going to go from elm street to oak street in the next five minutes. that is the biggest advantage of having it where we have it. think about the lead time you're going to get in seeing a storm
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come in. again, getting people prepared for what is coming. >> i'll never forget this woman who was in mill valley. i was out there reporting on a landslide there. her home, devastated. everything she's ever had. gone. and she came up to me and she said thank you. she said your forecast, abc 7's forecast, being able to let me know days in advance. she was able to get some of her move precious things out of there. and it was because we were able to give her that forecast. she came up to me. we hugged, cried. but that's why we do our job. and that's why we try and do it the best we can. >> coming up, bay area microclimates. find out why this region is so unique and how you can prepare for extreme weather changes.
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[ male announcer ] connect all your wi-fi-enabled devices with u-verse high speed internet. rethink possible. weather here in the bay area i would say is either feast or famen. you get a lot of rain or you get no rain. you have chaos or it can be just a terrific beautiful spring day. >> it's the challenge of the microclimate. coming in every day, knowing -- most people don't believe it, but the weather's going to be a little different today than it was yesterday. that's why i think people are so sort of enamored with microclimates in the bay area. you can have so much variation. >> even within a city, you can have four different locations with four different temperatures. san francisco, one side of the city, let's say you're out towards ocean beach, could be freezing cold with fog in the summertime. you get out towards the next
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area, it can be beautiful and sunny. >> trying to find that nuance, that little glitch in the huge atmosphere that's going to make our weather a little bit different today because we live in these microclimates, it's not going to affect everybody the same way , the way we cover weather out here is completely different than the way we cover weather than any other place in the united states because our weather is so unique. >> kansas, 40 mile, you might have a degree of temperature difference. it's all the same. that's how most areas of the country are. >> the topography is one of the main reasons that we have such diverse weather conditions from location to location. we've got the higher terrain in the mountains and the hills that help determine wind flow and that shield certain areas from rainfall or from the warming effect of the sun. we've got the proximity to the ocean and the marine influence which generally keeps locations near the ocean cool. if you really look at the south
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bay, you've got mountains on one side, mountains on the other side. there's a reason why they get the least amount of rain out of everybody. it's called rain fade. rain goes up the saint that cruz mountains. that's what creates the clouds. the santa cruz mountains, it rains like crazy down there. when the air comes over the santa cruz mountains and sink, into the valley, it stabilizes the atmosphere. you'll watch them get 2 or 3 inches of rain. and san jose will get a tremendous amount of rain. the area that has the greatest population in the bay area is getting the least amount of rain. >> there's so many different ways you can live your life differently to save water. put a bucket in the shower while the water is warming up. take the bucket out, water your plants like that. >> i feze water and put it in my freezer so if the power goes out,frozen. that can be put in my refrigerator. >> make your kids take shorter
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showers. know that one for a fact. >> storm has passed us now -- >> i got my start at fox in selenis almost 20 years ago. i've always been fascinated by science. biology, chemistry. i really became fascinated with the weather. so i tried out. i auditioned with a couple other people to try out to do weather for the weekend night shows. next thing you know, i was on the air. i enrolled in a meteorology program. got my certification in meteorology. got my american meteorology seal. and the nwa seal. i landed in san francisco, my dream job. here i am. i think that's what sets our weather team apart. we have veterans. we've been here. we know the area. we know the topography. and for people that are
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newcomers into this area, forecasting, if you haven't been here, if you don't have the experience behind you, nine times out of ten, you're going to get it wrong. >> only in hurricanes and tropical storms have i seen conditions this bad. >> i began my career in tv news as a news reporter in 1971 in richmond, virginia. >> this is your lean, mean weather machine. ready for a weather forecast round two. let's go. i'm atop mt. washington observatory. we bring you the weather. this part of new zealand. and we are way up in northern sweden about 120 miles north of the arctic circle. >> i have found myself involved in covering virtually every type of weather disaster and extreme weather condition you can imagine. i have been in 14 hurricanes. i've been in blizzards. i've been in massive floods. i reported live from hurricane hugo when it hits the south
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atlantic coast in the late 80s. hurricane gilbert, which hit the texas gulf coast in the late '80s. i reported live from hurricanes fran and bertha which hit the wilmington, north carolina area. i was with "good morning america" then and here i am 40-some years later still forecasting weather.s becomeand >> coming up, warmer temperatures, severe storms, drier winters. a look at changing weather patterns and how they may affect you. and learn how technology is changing the world of forecasting.
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climate change seems to have come upon us so suddenly. climatologists were telling us 30 years ago we could expect these kinds of extreme weather conditions we've seen globally in the last 5 to 10 years. they were telling us because of what human beings are putting
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into the at moss feeshgs we can expect these changings in climate patterns. and so we are seeing higher global temperatures year after year. we are seeing more frequent, more extreme storms. >> being a communicator, you want to be fair. you want to be open. you don't want to worry people. you don't want to scare people. but you know that people are smart. they know about their weather. they know about their climate. and they know that it's changing. certainly, i think that on the global scale, we have seen temperatures rising over the past few decades. there's no question about it. the numbers are there. there's observations that show these things are occurring. >> one the things with climate change are possible rises in tide levels. when you have all this water in the ocean getting warmer, even slightly, it's going to expand.
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what expands up the coastline. so along with predictions for temperature and rainfall, we have predictions for, with climate change, well, how much is sea level going to rise? we're looking at something in the order in the next 90 years between now and 2100 a sea level rise on something like 2 feet, maybe up to 3 feet. >> the way we live our lives will change. that's a great question. you see it when we do the news reports about water rationing. it's going to change the way we live and the fact that we may pay more to keep our houses comfortable. people living up on hills, you may not be able to build there anymore. the government may say no, we're not going to let you build up there, that's too unstable. people living in low-lying areas, the government may say that's a flood plain now. little things and big things i think is how the weather's going to change our lives over the next, you know, generation let's say.
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i could go on and on about how technology has changed my day to day job since i first started doing weather. when i first started doing weather in 1972, we had a plexiglass covered map in the studio and i had a -- i guess you call it a grease pencil. like a big magic marker. i drew the symbols on the map. i drew high pressure, low pressure, snowflakes. then we got into what we in television called chromo marking. it's what allowses you to stand in front of the blue screen and there's nothing behind us but all the image, ys you see at ho are somehow on your tv screen. >> it's the advent of the computer that's made our job better in the sense we're forecasting better. in the sense we can see things longer out. but it's also raised the expectations. it's made it harder in that respect. especially living out here in silicon valley.
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everybody expects, well, you work with computer models, aren't they perfect? no, not really, but they're getting better. these weather computer models that have algorithms, they're just huge. they blow your mind. we can't do them by hand. it takes a supercomputer three hours to crunch a forecast. so you try doing that by hand or you try doing that on the old computers from the '70s and '80s. computers have helped in that sense. they also helped us display what we know in a way that makes sense to everybody at home. >> live doppler 7 hd is a critical part of our storytelling, if you will. our weather forecasting. where's the rain now, where is it going. it can pick up moisture in the different layers of the atmosphere and that's important. >> basically satellite technology and radar technology have given us the ability to provide such accurate forecasts, from three-day forecasts to five-day forecasts to seven-day
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forecasts. >> i saw something on our doppler that indicated there was a real strong cell, the potential there, where it looked a little bit concerning. because this isn't something we see very often. it was a severe thunderstorm. literally seconds later, something came off on the wires that said severe thunderstorm warning and also a tornado warning has been issued for santa clara county, including the city of morgan hill. >> when you see a tornado in a -- in live doppler 7 hd, you see the wind. you can see the winds moving in opposite directions. we call them cuplets moving right next to each other on the radar. in the old radar, you had to look for the hook echo, the precipitation shield as a whole. by the time the thing makes a hook echo, it's already too late. you've already missed the lead time warn people. >> one of the most important parts is warn the public of upcoming danger. >> our system is so advanced that it does it better than any system out there.
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>> still to come, what role can you play in forecasting? see how social media is changing the way we stay informed about bay area weather. right?! is this the bacon and cheese diet? this is the creamy chicken corn chowder. i mean, look at it. so indulgent. this is so much more... what's different? oh, it's my chicken and cheese enchilada diet. well keep it up, honey. it's working. oh, gracias! did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet!
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do you have a great weather shot from around the bay area? send it to u-report. we'll feature your photo or video on our newscast or website. visit for details. we know that weather plays a huge role in people's lives but i had no idea that social media was that powerful. until we had one big storm hit and i remember asking people to confirm if they were seeing what we were seeing on live doppler 7 hd. i was amazed as to how many people responded on facebook, on twitter, you know, our viewers are the eyes and ears of what's happening out there. >> it's very touching to know that people who watch us do what
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we do make a personal connection with us. >> i love the fact it's so interactive. now anybody can get on twitter, anybody can get on facebook. we can get pictures of weather happening out there. it's what i call ground troops. the radar can show you what's going on in the clouds, maybe falling from the clouds, but people out there seeing it, taking the picture, telling me what's happening is just another layer of protection. >> two decades of weather experience, you come to learn when you have a cutoff low, it does have a mind of its own. you have to remember what happened in the past. you have to take that into consideration. so oftentimes you do have a little bit of that gut feeling. >> i was in little rock, arkansas, one day we had 52 tornadoes in the middle of january. this grandmother was baby-sitting her granddaughter.
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they were sitting on the couch getting ready to watch, you know, the news. a storm coming from the southwest. i was watching it with our radar. i was listening to the ham radio operators. the guys that go out and warm the storms come in. after i got on the air and told her where it was, where it was going, she grabbed her granddaughter, went into the hallway and got down and prepared, you know, for the tornado to come, about 20 to 30 seconds after that big oak tree fell right through the living room and landed on the couch where her and her granddaughter were. if they hadn't of moved, they might not be here now. everyone cares about weather because it affects everyone's lies. i love the fact i've reporting on the one topic that has such a profound effect on people's lives. it's a responsibility i take seriously. we do a much better job now than we did when i got in the business. years ago. and -- no, we do a much better job now than we did, you know, just decades ago. and the accuracy people strive for. what's we strive for. we don't want to miss the
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forecast. we don't want to say it's going to rain half an inch and then it rains a couple sprinkles and you canceled your plans. if you don't have an accurate forecast, doesn't matter how well you present it on air, you lose your credibility. nobody's going to watch you. >> i think the public think, they see us on tv for especially a short amount of time, they don't actually realize how much time it takes to put together that minute 30 or 2 minute or 3 minute weather. >> it's something we all have in common. >> i'm that source, i'm that expert. i want to make sure i give you the information that you can use, whether it's life saving, whether it's dressing your kid the right way, whether it's not going up to tahoe because a weather storm is coming. i want to give you the information that you can use to make your life better.
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